The housing shortage in Sweden is a hotly debated topic in Swedish media and among Swedish politicians, not least with regard to finding future accommodation for people who are currently applying for asylum. Why not let out a winter-insulated summer cottage or other private dwelling standing empty during parts of the year to one of the many people who need somewhere to live?
Apart from helping to solve the housing problem for people in need of accommodation, you can earn some additional income. Over the past few years, it has also become easier for private individuals to let out residential premises, as a large portion of the rental income is tax-free.
Taxation of rental income for a private individual
The basic principle is that any excess from a let should be taxed as capital income if I, as the landlord, let out my private dwelling as a private individual (e.g. a self-contained dwelling, owner apartment or tenant-owner apartment) or let out a rented residential apartment.
When you let out a private dwelling or rented apartment you can receive up to SEK 40,000 in rent tax-free per year (2015). If you let out a self-contained dwelling, such as a summer cottage, you may be able receive a further 20 per cent of the rent tax-free. If, for example, you let out your winter-insulated summer cottage for SEK 50,000 the entire amount of the rent would be tax-free as you would be eligible for a flat-rate deduction of SEK 40,000 and a further deduction of 20 per cent of the rent (i.e. SEK 10,000).
Moreover, fees paid to a tenant-owner association or rent for a rented apartment are deductible from your rental income, although it should be noted that you will probably need permission from your tenant-owner association or landlord to rent out your apartment.
Payments to cover actual expenditures for the tenant’s own use of electricity or cable TV, for example, should not normally be reported as taxable income, however.
If your property is mortgaged, the interest you pay is deductible but any additional costs relating to the lease, such as wear and tear, renovation work, purchases of furniture and so on, are normally not deductible.
If you lend your apartment to another person without charge, any expenditure related thereto is normally not deductible.
In view of the considerable need for accommodation among asylum seekers, we would like to point out that it is not currently possible to rent out your house or apartment to asylum seekers through the Swedish Migration Agency unless you have space for at least 30 people. No permit is needed, but the Migration Agency is required to procure the housing in accordance with special rules. Applications should be submitted to the Migration Agency. To provide accommodation for unaccompanied minors, you will need a permit issued by the Health and Social Care Inspectorate (IVO).
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